Mahershala Ali Kicks Off Oscars With ‘Moonlight’ Win

By February 26, 2017

The 2017 Oscars took a different turn from past broadcasts, throwing out its celebration of films to a musical number from Justin Timberlake of a past hit, “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel then came out and took immediate aim not just on Hollywood, but the current U.S. President, Donald Trump. He ended the monologue with what became a standing ovation for Meryl Streep, who was celebrating her 20th nomination despite the fact “she wasn’t even in a movie this year.”

Kimmel stepped aside quickly, however, for the first award of the night – best supporting actor, won by Moonlight‘s Mahershala Ali, who thanked his teachers.

“One thing they consistently told me that it wasn’t about you. It’s not about you. It’s about these characters, (and) you are in service to these stories and these characters. And I am so blessed to have an opportunity.”

The interest in O.J. Simpson continues from television into film with the Ezra Edelman ESPN feature O.J.: Made in America winning for best documentary feature. Edelman dedicated the Oscar to the two victims of the 1994 murder – Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.

The Oscar “is for them and their families, and it’s also for the others – the victims of police violence and police brutality, and racially motivated violence and criminal injustice. This is their story as well as Ron and Nicole’s. I am honored to accept this award on all their behalfs.”

Also winning awards in the first hour were Suicide Squad for best makeup and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for best costumes. For sound, Arrival won for best editing, while Hacksaw Ridge was awarded for best mixing.

Read more about the second hour of the Oscars right here.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.